Aaron Bruno and AWOLNATION return with their fourth record, Angel Miners & The Lightning Riders. The album is a loose concept album based on the bad guys (the Angel miners) vs. the good guys (The Lightning Riders) and has AWOLNATION doing what they do best – making music with a sense of urgency. It’s arguably the most memorable AWOLNATION record since their debut album.
What’s always been good about Bruno’s AWOLNATION is he’s never really been scared to take chances with it. It seems like each record is completely different than the last album and it’s different than what it was expected to be. Because of this, apart from the quality of the actual music, there are only a few consistencies with the band’s music. This is a good thing. There’s been elements of funk on varying levels – Bruno can’t escape his Under the Influence of Giants roots. Other than that, Bruno tries to do new things with each record. Bruno’s sang, he’s yelled, he’s screamed, he’s crooned, and he’s done a myriad of other things smattered across these records to keep them different and interesting. He does that with this LP too. This album has all the makings of a great listen; the production is expansive and has a ton of urgency to it. Pair the sound of the music with Bruno having a ton of fun with his lyrics and vocals and this album is awesome all over. Songs like “Mayday!!! Fiesta Fever” is a ton of fun – “ALL I WANT TO DO IS PLAY ROCK AND ROLL AND A DISCO PARTY” – Bruno sings on the first verse of the song before moving into “ALL I WANT TO PLAY IS HARDCORE ON A MAGIC CARPET” – it’s weird, it’s random, and it’s fun.
There’s a lot to love with this record; the big bass lines, Bruno’s unique way of song writing, the production, the overall oddness of everything. It’s a fun record that might be a touch too short for this level of band, but that is what it is. AWOLNATION”s Angel Miners and the The Lighting Riders is a really good record.